One of the pairs of Pied Oystercatchers on Cable Beach have hatched their eggs this week. There had been one egg in the nest scrape on July 25th and a second egg followed. This Tuesday I was expecting the eggs to start to hatch and they did just that. As you can see in the header photo the nest was in a very exposed area, but it was back from high tide and had survived for twenty nine days. I showed you the variation in some of our location of Pied Oystercatcher nest sites a few weeks ago here. Both of the Pied Oystercatchers took it in turns to incubate the eggs and we have had cold nights and hot days, so there has been the need for warmth and shade over that period of time.

Shading two eggs

By Friday morning the family of Pied Oystercatchers had moved a little to the south to an area with more vegetation, but equally far from the ocean. The adults were clearly finding food for the chicks in the soft sand and feeding them. There are quite a lot of Black Kites in the area and they fly up and chase them off if they come too close. The Pied Oystercatcher chicks are spoken to by their parents and you can clearly hear them call them to move on when they collapse onto the sand for a rest. The chicks almost disappear in the vegetation and under their parents.

Pied Oystercatcher family

At one point one of the chicks wandered off to sit next to some grey vegetation. The sunlight just gave it away, though, with the light on its little shape!

Pied Oystercatcher chick with a sunlit edging!

There are a lot of weeks ahead before these Pied Oystercatcher chicks are old enough to fly and be safe from the many predators along our coastline. We are more than happy to observe them get to this stage of development and hope that their parents can protect them until they are fully fledged.

Written by Clare M
Clare and her husband, Grant, have lived permanently in Broome, Western Australia since 1999 after living in various outback locations around Western Australia and Darwin. She has lived in the Middle East and the United States and traveled extensively in Europe. She monitors Pied Oystercatchers breeding along a 23km stretch of Broome's coastline by bicycle and on foot. She chooses not to participate in social media, but rather wander off into the bush for peace and tranquility. Thankfully she can write posts in advance and get away from technology!